Heading back to Accra, I think I gained some major “legit” points in the eyes of our clearing agent by taking a tro-tro back to Accra, dress pants, pointy-toed black flats and all. Walking back from the tro-tro station to my hotel, I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself…that is, until I started getting painful blisters and had to limp the last kilometer home.
After finishing up with customs and meetings in Accra, I started the journey back up to the north to meet our second 40 foot container of the summer in a town called Wechiau. After a painfully early 3am wakeup required to wait in line for the 6am bus, the rest of the journey went fairly smoothly. This time, I was accompanied by Junior, a friend from Kumasi who was on summer break from secondary school (high school) and wanted to experience northern Ghana for the first time. The majority of Ghanaians I meet in Kumasi and Accra have never traveled to the northern half of Ghana and regard it with the same stereotypes that people from the US tend to have about Africa. Junior thought that Wa and Tamale were the same place and that Wa was two hours north of Accra (I hope that anyone who knows Ghana well is laughing right now!)
At one point in the trip, I was alternating between giving the trucking company directions to Wechiau (before anyone panics and races to warn the trucking company about my abysmal sense of direction, don’t worry…my sense of direction in Ghana is shockingly better than in the US) and giving Junior a geography lesson on northern Ghana…since when have a become a tour guide for other Ghanaians?!?
Before heading to Wechiau, Junior and I took a tro-tro into Lawra to wrap up some loose ends for the shipment that they had received several weeks ago. In case anyone thought I was exaggerating about the broken-down state of tro-tros in the north, Junior took one look at our vehicle and dubbed it a “death trap” ☺. Back in Lawra, I helped to set up the laundry machine, distributed digital copies of equipment and computer manuals, and said final goodbyes. We stayed in a guesthouse located just opposite of a cell phone tower (cell tower = my internet modem works), allowing me to spend an incredibility productive night submitting several medical schools applications!